Operational and Administrative Functions Review
In July 2015, Council approved a motion directing Administration to hire a qualified third party firm to conduct a broad review of Municipal services and functions. To build on the 2014 KPMG Accountability, Integrity and Transparency Audit, which focused specifically on governance and policies, Council agreed that it was the ideal time to evaluate and benchmark progress with respect to functions.
Grant Thornton conducted this review and presented its findings to Council on March 15, 2016. After the presentation, Council directed Administration to return to Council within 60 days with recommendations on an implementation plan for prudent actions resulting from an analysis of the review.
Key elements of the review included assessing how well the Municipality is performing overall as a local government and making recommendations for changes to reduce costs and improve efficiencies in the implementation of decisions and flow of information.
This review asked questions such as:
- Is the Municipality meeting service levels based on municipal best practices?
- Could the Municipality be implementing certain services more innovatively and as such more efficiently?
- Does the Municipality have a sufficient and adequate staff complement to fulfill our service mandates?
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How will the Municipality be implementing the recommendations of the review?
A: As directed by Council, Administration has begun assessing the review and recommendations. Administration will to return to Council within 60 days of March 15 with recommendations on an implementation plan that includes prudent actions resulting from an analysis of the review.
As this was an arms-length review, Administration’s involvement included participation in initial data-gathering interviews as well as the facilitation of the procurement and delivery of this scope of work. Beyond this, there was no involvement in the development of the report, nor in providing any feedback or commentary for inclusion in the final report.
Q: What is the difference between this review and the KPMG Accountability, Integrity and Transparency Audit?
A: Unlike last year’s KPMG audit which focused on governance and policies, an operational and administrative functions review is a broad assessment of Municipal operations, specifically the services we are mandated to deliver to citizens and how well and efficiently those services are being delivered.
Q: Why has Council decided to pursue this review now? Is it simply because of the recession?
A: The economic environment has influence on a due diligence exercise like this, but a broad review of municipal services, functions and departmental structures would be expected as a normal course of business. We’re now at a stage in our development as a community — demographically, geographically and economically — that it makes sense to assess how we’re doing.
As we mature and grow as a community and as an organization, it’s incumbent on Council and Administration to be as proactive, responsive and efficient as possible, hence the motivation for doing this review now.
Q: Wouldn’t it be more cost effective for the RMWB to conduct the review itself?
A: To fulfill the purpose of this review as effectively, comprehensively and objectively as possible, we needed to have impartial third party experts give credibility and commitment to this exercise. Contracting the services of an independent vendor with experience in conducting this type of review allows the organization to continue focusing on its service delivery role.
Q: What specific outcomes are you expecting to fulfill?
A: Specific outcomes and benchmarks will be defined after Administration assesses the review and returns to Council with specific recommendations. Themes that may be explored include efficiency, structure and best practices.
Q: Will the public be updated on the outcomes?
A: Grant Thornton presented its review on March 15, 2016. As directed by Council, Administration has begun assessing the review and recommendations. Administration will to return to Council within 60 days with recommendations on an implementation plan that includes prudent actions resulting from an analysis of the review.